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15+1 unique museums worldwide you never knew existed!

Updated: Oct 9, 2023


Underwater sculptures


Unconventional, fascinating and unique museums worldwide


We often think of museums as treasure troves of knowledge and culture, as places filled with historical artifacts, art masterpieces, and scientific wonders. Nevertheless, the role of museums has changed significantly over the past decades. Nowadays, a museum may showcase intangible cultural heritage, like traditional dances, songs and practices.


Most importantly, museums have redirected their attention towards their visitors, emphasizing their experiences and the methods through which they acquire knowledge and interpret the world around them. Furthermore, museums have adopted the approach of crafting an "experience" for the public. They now resemble multi-theme parks, striving to both engage and enlighten individuals.


In light of this perspective, I will delve into a selection of the planet's captivating and unique destinations. These establishments provide a diverse range of encounters and insights to guests, encompassing aspects of local cultures, varying perspectives, feelings and beyond.


Overview:

  1. The Museum of Broken Relationships (Croatia)

  2. The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (Mexico)

  3. The Museum of Miniature Books (Azerbaijan)

  4. The Meguro Parasitological Museum (Japan)

  5. The Museum of Witchcraft (Cornwall)

  6. The Museum of Failure (Worldwide exhibitions)

  7. The Medieval Crime Museum (Germany)

  8. Paris Sewer Museum (France)

  9. Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum (Kentucky)

  10. Museum Speelklok (The Netherlands)

  11. Museum of Enduring Beauty (Malaysia)

  12. The Corning Museum of Glass (New York)

  13. The Museum of the Future (Dubai)

  14. The Sand Museum (Japan)

  15. Aurora Reykjavík - The Northern Lights Center (Iceland)

  16. Gibbs Farm (New Zealand)


1. The Museum of Broken Relationships (Croatia)


Zagreb, Museum of Broken Relationships
"A Silk Dress, for years we were together, without living together, working in different parts of the world, ever in love. She looked so beautiful in this dress. A few months before we would have settled down in Afghanistan, she found someone else." Courtesy European Parliament /Creative Commons/Flickr

The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb is a unique cultural institution that captures the essence of human emotions and connections. This one-of-a-kind museum showcases a collection of personal mementos and artifacts donated by individuals from around the world, each accompanied by a heartfelt story of a past relationship that has run its course.


Zagreb,museum of broken relationships
"A Bottle in the Sea, Brussels I found a bottle at the seaside 40 years ago. It was empty, but the message came later that day when I discovered I was adopted. Today, my parents aren’t here anymore. I miss them." CourtesyEuropean Parliament /Creative Commons/Flickr

Through its displays of love, heartbreak, and nostalgia, the museum creates a space for visitors to reflect on the diverse and often complex nature of human connections. The museum's exhibits, ranging from cherished tokens to everyday objects, offer a raw and intimate glimpse into the myriad ways people experience and navigate love and loss. In doing so, the Museum of Broken Relationships becomes a place of both solace and connection, reminding us of the universal aspects of our emotional journeys.


2. The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (Mexico)


Museo Subacuatico de Arte
Urban Reef / Jason de Caires Taylor/Licensed under CC BY 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art, located off the coast of Mexico's Cancun region, is among the most unique museums worldwide and rightfully so. This fascinating museum offers sculptures and installations beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, creating an otherworldly gallery accessible to divers and snorkelers.


The submerged artworks serve as a haven for marine life to thrive and coral reefs to regenerate. Beyond its artistic allure, the museum also serves as a poignant reminder of the delicate relationship between humanity and the ocean, encouraging both artistic appreciation and environmental consciousness.


Museo Subacuatico de Arte
Dream Collector/Andy Blackledge/Licensed under CC BY 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Cancun Underwater Museum of Art stands as a testament to the harmonious coexistence of art, nature, and conservation, captivating visitors with its surreal beauty while advocating for the protection of our oceans.


3. The Museum of Miniature Books (Azerbaijan)


Baku museum of miniature books
Baku museum of miniature books/Stanislav Kozlovskiy/Licensed under CC BY 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Museum of Miniature Books in Azerbaijan is a special treasure trove that holds a world of wonder within its small confines. Located in Baku, this unique museum is dedicated to showcasing an impressive collection of intricately crafted miniature books from across the globe.


Despite their size, these tiny tomes encapsulate vast knowledge, literature, and artistry, each a marvel of precision and creativity. Visitors to the museum can explore the diverse subjects and genres covered by these mini masterpieces, ranging from classic literature to historical documents.


4. The Meguro Parasitological Museum (Japan)


Meguro Parasitological Museum
Meguro Parasitological Museum/Laika ac/Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo, Japan, is a truly one-of-a-kind institution that offers a captivating and sometimes eerie exploration of the world of parasites. Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum provides an opportunity to delve into the intriguing biology, life cycles, and ecological roles of various parasites that impact humans and animals.


With an extensive collection of preserved specimens, interactive displays, and informative exhibits, visitors can gain a deeper understanding of these often-misunderstood creatures. The museum's unique approach combines science education with an element of curiosity, shedding light on the complex relationships between parasites, their hosts, and the broader ecosystems they inhabit. A visit to the Meguro Parasitological Museum is an eye-opening experience that challenges perceptions and highlights the intricate interplay of life forms on our planet.


5. The Museum of Witchcraft (Cornwall)


 the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Upstairs Room in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic/Ethan Doyle White/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0/ Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall, England, is a captivating and unique journey into the history, folklore, and cultural perceptions surrounding witchcraft and magic. Nestled within the picturesque coastal village of Boscastle, this museum holds a vast collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and art pieces that span centuries of witchcraft-related practices.



 the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic
Diorama of a Cunning Woman in the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic/Ethan Doyle White/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

Visitors are invited to explore the intricate displays that shed light on the diverse aspects of witchcraft, from its historical origins to its role in modern pop culture. The museum fosters a thought-provoking atmosphere, allowing visitors to contemplate the complex intersection of belief systems, societal fears, and the enduring fascination with the supernatural.


Whether one is a history enthusiast, a believer in the mystical, or simply curious, the Museum of Witchcraft offers a unique window into a realm where fact and fiction intertwine in a mesmerizing dance.


6. The Museum of Failure (Worldwide exhibitions)


Visitors' comments in the exhibit in Los Angeles-The museum of failure
Visitors' comments in the exhibit in Los Angeles/Dale Cruse /Licensed under CC BY 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Museum of Failure, a quirky and unconventional institution, celebrates the fascinating concept of innovation through its most unexpected outcomes. Located in various cities worldwide, this museum showcases a curated collection of products, ideas, and ventures that didn't quite succeed as intended.


From well-known corporate blunders to lesser-known experimental endeavors, visitors are invited to explore the diverse range of failures and their valuable lessons. The museum's exhibits not only highlight the humor in these missteps but also underscore the importance of embracing failure as an integral part of the creative process.


By shedding light on the setbacks of innovation, the Museum of Failure offers a refreshing perspective on the road to success, emphasizing that even the most innovative minds encounter hurdles along the way.


7. The Medieval Crime Museum (Germany)


The medieval crime museum, Germany
Kriminalmuseum Rothenburg ob der Tauber/Torsten Maue/Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Medieval Crime Museum, located in Germany, offers a glimpse into the dark world of crime and punishment during the Middle Ages. Through an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays, this museum vividly portrays the legal systems, judicial processes, and various methods of punishment employed during that era.


Visitors are transported back in time to explore the complex relationship between law, society, and morality, as well as the harsh realities faced by both the accused and the accusers. The museum serves as a window into the past, shedding light on the intricate web of social norms and power dynamics that shaped justice during medieval times


8. Paris Sewer Museum (France)


Musee des Egouts de Paris
Musee des Egouts de Paris/ignis /Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Paris Sewer Museum in France provides a unique and intriguing perspective on the hidden infrastructure that keeps the city running smoothly. Nestled beneath the bustling streets of Paris, this museum offers a fascinating journey into the labyrinthine world of the city's sewer system.


Through a combination of informative exhibits and guided tours, visitors can explore the history, engineering, and significance of the underground network that has played a vital role in maintaining public health and sanitation for centuries.


The museum not only showcases the technical aspects of the sewer system but also delves into the cultural and societal impact it has had on the city and its inhabitants. A visit to the Paris Sewer Museum is an eye-opening experience that reveals the often-unseen side of urban life and highlights the innovative solutions that have contributed to the city's modernization and well-being.


Did you know that France offers many wonderful places off-the-beaten track? Check out my article on the TOP 11 less-tourist places in Europe for a weekend


9. Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum (Kentucky)


Vent Haven Museum
Vent Haven Museum/5chw4r7z/ Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum, situated in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, is a charming and quite eccentric institution dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. Established by W.S. Berger in 1973, the museum boasts an extensive collection of over 900 ventriloquist figures from different eras, showcasing the rich history and evolution of this unique form of entertainment.


Visitors can explore an array of intricately designed and sometimes whimsical characters that have brought laughter and amazement to audiences throughout the years. The museum also offers insights into the lives and careers of prominent ventriloquists, highlighting their contributions to the world of performing arts.


With its diverse range of exhibits and the opportunity to learn about the mechanics and techniques behind ventriloquism, the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum is a delightful destination that celebrates an art form often relegated to the fringes of show business.


10. Museum Speelklok (The Netherlands)


museum speelklok
museum speelklok tot pierement/bertknot/Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Museum Speelklok in the Netherlands is a delightful and enchanting institution that celebrates the world of self-playing musical instruments. Located in Utrecht, this museum showcases a captivating collection of mechanical musical instruments, ranging from intricately designed music boxes to self-playing pianos and orchestrions.


Visitors are treated to a symphony of historical sounds as they explore the exhibits, learning about the innovative mechanisms that brought music to life in eras past. The museum provides insights into the craftsmanship, engineering, and cultural significance of these musical marvels, inviting guests to experience the magic of music in a truly unique way.



museum speelklok
museum speelklok tot pierement/bertknotLicensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

With interactive displays and engaging demonstrations, the Museum Speelklok offers a harmonious blend of history and entertainment, reminding us of the timeless joy that music has brought to generations.


11. The Museum of Enduring Beauty (Malaysia)


Reflection of a Hand in a Mirror
Reflections/Pexels

The Museum of Enduring Beauty, situated in Malaysia, is a captivating exploration of the various cultural practices and rituals related to beauty and body modification that have persisted across different societies and time periods.


Through a diverse range of exhibits, the museum sheds light on the ways in which people have sought to enhance their appearance, express identity, and adhere to aesthetic ideals. From intricate tattoos and scarification to elaborate jewelry and body adornments, visitors are invited to delve into the world of enduring beauty practices that reflect cultural values and the human desire for self-expression.


The museum provides a thought-provoking space to contemplate the evolving standards of beauty and the deep connections between physical appearance, tradition, and personal empowerment.


12. The corning museum of glass (New York)


Heineman Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass
Heineman Gallery, Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York/Andre Carrotflower/CC BY-SA 4.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Corning Museum of Glass, located in Corning, New York, is a mesmerizing institution that celebrates the art, science, and history of glassmaking. With a vast and diverse collection spanning thousands of years, the museum showcases the incredible versatility of glass as a medium for artistic expression and functional design.



Stained-glass window with landscape scene
Stained-glass window with landscape scene from Rochroane Castle, Irvington-on-Hudson, New York,(Louis C. Tiffany, 1905)/Andre Carrotflower/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

Visitors can explore exhibits that range from ancient glass artifacts to contemporary glass sculptures, witnessing the evolution of techniques and styles over time. The museum also offers interactive demonstrations, allowing guests to witness skilled artisans shaping molten glass into intricate creations.


Corning Museum of Glass
Corning Museum of Glass/David Zhang /Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

Through its dynamic displays and educational programs, the Corning Museum of Glass not only honors the heritage of glassmaking but also fosters an appreciation for the technical innovations and creative possibilities that glass offers as an artistic and utilitarian material.


13. The museum of the future (Dubai)


Museum of the future-Dubai
Museum of the future-Dubai UAE-Andres Larin/Saaremees/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Museum of the Future in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is a cutting-edge institution that offers a glimpse into the possibilities and innovations that await humanity. As a hub for advanced technology, scientific exploration, and visionary ideas, the museum showcases a range of immersive exhibits and interactive displays that explore the potential impact of emerging technologies on various aspects of our lives.


The future museum Dubai
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the “Museum of the future”, at Dubai, United Arab Emirates on February 11, 2018/Prime Minister's Office/Licensed under Government Open Data License – India/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

From artificial intelligence and sustainable energy solutions to space exploration and biotechnology, the Museum of the Future serves as a platform to spark dialogue about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Through its captivating design and forward-thinking approach, the museum inspires visitors to contemplate the limitless potential of human creativity and collaboration in shaping the future.


14. The sand museum (Japan)


Tottori Sand Museum
Tottori Sand Museum/Drivephotographer/Licensed under CC0 1.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

The Sand Museum, nestled against the backdrop of the Tottori Sand Dunes in Japan, is an annual that showcases the enchanting fusion of art and nature. Each year, this unique museum hosts a themed sand sculpture exhibition, drawing acclaimed artists from around the world to transform ordinary sand into extraordinary works of art.


Sand Castles Made with Hands at Tottori Japan
Sand Castles Made with Hands at Tottori Japan/Sudhindra Sathyanarayana/Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

These intricate and towering sculptures tell stories, depict historical events, and celebrate cultural themes, all crafted with remarkable skill and attention to detail. Set against the stunning landscape of the sand dunes, the Sand Museum offers visitors a fleeting glimpse of creativity, as the sculptures are ephemeral, ultimately returning to the windswept sands. This juxtaposition of temporary art and the enduring beauty of nature creates a captivating experience that's both awe-inspiring and evocative of the transitory nature of human expression.


15. Aurora Reykjavík - The Northern Lights Center (Iceland)


Northern Lights Budir Iceland
Northern Lights Budir Iceland Travel Photography/Giuseppe Milo/Licensed under CC BY 3.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

Aurora Reykjavík - The Northern Lights Center is an immersive and informative attraction that brings the captivating beauty of the Northern Lights to life. Situated in Reykjavík, Iceland, this center offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about and experience the phenomenon of the Aurora Borealis.


Through a combination of interactive exhibits, multimedia presentations, and captivating displays, visitors can delve into the science, mythology, and cultural significance of the Northern Lights. The center provides insights into the conditions that create this natural spectacle, offering a virtual journey under the Arctic skies to witness the mesmerizing dance of colors firsthand.


Whether you're a science enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply curious about this enchanting phenomenon, Aurora Reykjavík offers a captivating and enlightening exploration of the Northern Lights that leaves a lasting impression.


16. Gibbs Farm (New Zealand)


Dismemberment, Site 1 byAnish Kapoor
Dismemberment, Site 1 byAnish Kapoor/Andym5855/Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

Gibbs Farm in New Zealand is a captivating outdoor sculpture park, nestled within the picturesque landscape of Kaipara Harbour. Home to an impressive collection of monumental artworks, the farm serves as a canvas for internationally acclaimed artists and is trully one of the top unique musems worldwide.


Horizons by Neil Dawson
Horizons by Neil Dawson/Nita/Licensed under CC/ BY-SA 2.0/Avalaible in Wikimedia Commons Library

These awe-inspiring sculptures seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings, creating a harmonious dialogue between art and nature. As visitors wander through the expansive property, they're treated to an immersive experience that celebrates the interplay of creativity and the environment. Gibbs Farm stands as a testament to the power of art to transform landscapes and provoke contemplation, offering a unique and unforgettable artistic journey.





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